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Droplet: A heavily modified, tetherless, autonomous BlueROV2 build for stacking blocks

Hi everyone! As a part of my Ph.D. research, I redesigned the electronics tube of a BlueROV2 Heavy to make it usable as a tetherless AUV for manipulation with a custom designed gripper. You can see it in action on youtube here!

Here’s a picture of the reworked electronics tube. Basically none of the electronics are the same as the ones that ship with the ROV. The key features as a FLIR blackfly S usb3 machine vision camera, and an UpSquared main computer that give it more punch for rapidly processing high quality raw image frames. The CAD files for ordering a copy of the Delrin mounting plate / a parts list of electronics are available on our lab Github: GitHub - dartmouthrobotics/underwater-assembly-auv: Repository containing parts list and CAD files to retrofit a BlueROV2 for improved autonomous operation

You can see more details about the build in this article I wrote about the design process!

I’d be happy to work with people who want to replicate or improve the design, so please get in touch.


Awesome! I love the write up, I’m hoping you have video footage of this???!! :rofl:

During one tank test of the robot after removing the tether, a software bug caused the robot to turn all eight of its motors on full speed and leave them there. We had no way to reconnect to the robot when it was submerged so someone had to jump in the tank and wrestle the robot to the surface while it bucked and flipped around, spraying water all over the lab.


Nice writeup and cool design/project!

I too would love to see video of this :joy:


@slensgra This is impressive on many levels! The video is really awesome and I like the gripper you designed for this application. Well done!!


Hi Sam! So many of us at BR have really enjoyed this! Would you mind if we shared your project on our social media? Thank you!


Thank you! I wish we had a video of it too, woulda been great for blooper reels

I’m glad you all enjoyed the work! Please feel free to share on social media! If you would please mention the Dartmouth RLab in the post we’d appreciate it